Saturday, May 28, 2011


I spent the last two hours pulling up weeds. At least I think they were weeds. I hope they were.

It's not easy dealing with a garden when you have a black thumb. I can't count the number of plants I've killed. House plants, yard plants, it doesn't matter. Plants look at me and die.

It wouldn't be so bad if I could keep the images of Miss Marple out of my head. Agatha Christie's heroine actually liked gardening. She liked digging in the dirt and coaxing fragile seedlings to life. I mean, I know St Mary Meade was a quiet village,and there probably wasn't much else to do, but come on.

Here's the truth, people: nature hates us. Buckthorn is forever. Creeping Charlie laughs at your attempts to control it. And dandelions? They don't even have the decency to wait until your back is turned. They spring right back no matter what you do.

I wish I liked gardening. I wish I couldn't wait to tend to the irises and "put in" annuals. But I don't. Which probably means I'd never make it as a character in an English detective novel.

But I can live with that.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Duke!

Happy birthday to John Wayne. Born Marion Robert Morrison on this day in 1907, in Winterset,Iowa.

A little birthday fanfare for the Duke.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Uh-Oh, Ahnold

In today's LA Times-

"Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver separated after she learned he'd fathered the child more than a decade ago with a household employee.

His wife, Maria Shriver, moved out of their Brentwood mansion earlier this year after the former governor acknowledged the child was his. The staff member worked for the family for 20 years, retiring in January."

Let me see if I've got this straight.

Ten years ago, Ahnold had a child with a staffer. A staffer who lived with the family, in the same house.

Said staffer remained with the family another ten years, presumably with Ahnold Junior running about the house all day.

Ten years? Ten years of living with her husband's out of wedlock child, and Maria is just tumbling to the news now?

What, she missed the clues? The square jaw, the lederhosen? The Conan the Barbarian playsets?

Nobody ever called the Kennedy clan a brain trust. But this is ridiculous.

Monday, May 16, 2011

There Goes the Weekend

As I have mentioned earlier on my other blog,, the world is scheduled to end this Saturday. From Fox News, via Hot Air:

"A New York man spent his entire $140,000 life savings advertising his prediction that the world will end May 21, the New York Post reported Friday.
Robert Fitzpatrick, a 60-year-old Staten Island resident, said he spent at least that sum on 1,000 subway-car placards and ads on bus kiosks and subway cars.
They say, "Global Earthquake: The Greatest Ever! Judgment Day May 21, 2011."
In a self-published book, "The Doomsday Code," Fitzpatrick said the Bible offers "proof that cannot be dismissed."
"Judgment Day will surprise people. We will not be ready for it," Fitzpatrick said in an interview with the newspaper. "A giant earthquake will render the earth uninhabitable."

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Now, aside from the obvious observation- "You'd think a guy on Staten Island could handle 'uninhabitable'"- Mr. Fitzpatrick's campaign brings up several very important issues. Like, should I cancel my dentist appointment? I mean, what's the use, right? Or should I go ahead with it as a dress rehearsal for the terrible sufferings to come?

What about my library books?

Is it better to face Judgement Day with a decent pedicure?

If the wrath of God incinerates me and my home, will He toast the squirrels, too? Because that would be sweet revenge.

I'm not sure what time all this is supposed to happen on Saturday. Before or after the softball game? Really, you'd think Mr. Fitzpatrick would tell us if he knew. Unless he's rooting for the other team. Which would be typical of these doomsday guys.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Food Poisoning

We all have our weaknesses. Our tendencies. Some people pick up headcolds at the drop of a Kleenex. Others are accident prone and know the location of every emergency room in fifty states.

I, for some reason, am a walking target for food poisoning.

I don't know why. It's not like I'm an adventurous eater or anything. I never go near exotic delicacies like blood sausage or deep fried grasshoppers. Offered anything faintly jiggly like raw oysters or undercooked eggs my response is always a firm "no, thank you." But none of my stick-to-the-beaten-path ways have spared me from major bouts of food poisoning.

I remember one particularly graphic episode my first month in Washington, D.C. At my first Washington party. That one involved some leftover guacamole and a Halloween costume. Also the Secret Service, who by the way are not especially sympathetic guys. It wasn't pretty.

Today's episode, I think, stems from-- well, I don't know what, actually. I do know this time it wasn't the sushi. I was feeling rotten way before I ate the sushi. But I imagine the sushi didn't improve things much.

My preferred course of treatment is simple: Advil for the pounding headache, hot tea for the frayed nerves, and a steady diet of paperback mystery novels to pass the time until the whole ugly thing blows over. So far I've blown through a Robert Parker and two randy Wayne Whites.

If anyone has any suggestions they'd be welcome. In the meantime, stay away from sushi, just to be safe.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sliding Into Summer

I don't know about you, but whenever I come home from a vacation abroad the first thing I like to do is hit the emergency room with an injured child.

Unpack? Catch up on laundry? No no no. That kind of thing is for pikers. A real American mom knows the place to be when you're half stoned from jet lag and there's still no food in the house is the waiting room of a children's hospital. Along with about fifty other parents. Only half of whom speak any English, most of the kids are crying, and there's only one nurse pracitioner on duty.

Yeah. That's the life for me.

Yesterday was one of the the first really warm days of summer. So, naturally, every child in the Twin Cities was outside playing games they only half remember how to play from the long ago summer of 2010. No one, obviously, is going to be in mid-season form.

Take softball, for example. Great game. Girls love it. And this early in the season they're eager to improve their skills. They want to throw the ball, hit the ball, catch the ball, sprint for first base.

This last skill is especially important. I mean, what's the point of all that hitting if you never get to first base? You gotta be fast. You gotta be focused. And you have to know how to slide for the bag.

This is when some bozo gets the bright idea, "Hey. It's hot, the kids need to practice sliding. Who's got one of those Slip N' Slides?"

You know. Long flat stretch of vinyl, you attach a garden hose and voila, you've got the perfect place to practice running as though your life depended on it then hurling yourself to the ground, sliding for all you're worth to that first precious base. And you get wet too, which not only helps your slide but cools you off a the same time. Fun, right?

At last count the number of injured from last night's practice was low. Only two. One with a seriously screwed up ankle- it's the boot and a pair of crutches for you, kid!= and one with a smashed up shoulder. Mine is the one with the smashed up shoulder. She, if you can believe it, is actually jealous of the kid with the busted ankle. ("How come she gets crutches and I don't? Crutches are cool." "Shut up and put your sling back on," mom explains.)

Yep, the summer of 2011 is off to a bang-up start. Softball season is over a little early, though.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Vatican Blogmeet

"Mrs. V. goes to Vatican City"

ROME- Yesterday Desperate Irish Housewife attended the big Bloggers' Meeting at the Vatican, where she discovered- to her great relief- that she was not the only blogger who was still amazed to have been invited. Other bloggers, too, had daily checked their email for the message from the organizers saying that her invitation had been a big mistake. But no such message came, and there they all were.

The first thing DIH did was locate and introduce herself to the venerable Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia. The first thing the Anchoress did was offer DIH a breath mint. (BTW, smooth move, Liz.) DIH gratefully accepted.

The second thing DIH did was discover her iPad was screwed up and she could not blog, but only Tweet. So tweet, tweet tweet she went.

They handed out headphones so that all could understand the different languages the presenters spoke. DIH of course clung to hers for dear life, but she noticed quite a few people scorned the headphones and understood all the languages on their own. This was another reminder to Desperate that she still has not mastered any of the languages she has studied off and on, and is not happy about it. (I swear, I WILL break out that Rosetta Stone set the minute I get home.)

Chief among the multi-linguists was a young Dutch priest who gave a sparkling talk about how he started his blog: by writing about Star Wars. It got thousands of hits the first week. Hm, he said to himself. Maybe writing stuff people are actually interested in is the way to go. Later he launched a podcast series on how to succeed at Farmville. This got even more hits, and was IMHO a brilliant idea.

I wonder if this means DIH should start playing Farmville...

The centerpiece of the event was the unveiling of the new Vatican website, still under development but "coming soon," they promised. This will be the most comprehensive, one-stop-shopping website the folks at St peters have ever produced, and it sounded pretty exciting.

Add to the "Why I Love Being Catholic" files: at the break between panels, they gave us pastries and prosecco.

I'm telling you. IS THIS A GREAT RELIGION, OR WHAT????